When I first began my spiritual journey, I had to start digging deep into my emotions and my experience. It wasn't enough to acknowledge that I was feeling sad.... I had to reflect on why I was feeling sad. At first, my reflections were very surface level, and with time, I was able to really tap into the true source of pain.
A quick example of this progression in relation to my body shame...
I hate my body --> I feel insecure ---> I have a deep rooted fear that people won't love me
Digging deeper into my fears and beliefs led me to the monumental shifts in my mindset I needed to make. But, as I've gone deeper into this work, I'm starting to realize a prominent pattern, no matter what specific issue I'm struggling with.
Whether I'm feeling anxious/sad about my body, my relationships, my job, etc... it's all external... and anytime I place more importance on external manifestations rather than my relationship with my highest self/soul, I suffer.
I've read this quote dozens of times, but never really grasped it until recently. I didn't realize how attached I was to my external world. Sure, I was meditating, journaling, and doing the inner work....but I did it in hopes to achieve external validation. I wanted to love myself so I could lose weight. I wanted to say affirmations so I would get a promotion at work. I wanted to create a vision board so I would meet the love of the my life.
I was doing all of this work on myself, but still suffering. If I gained weight, I felt like a failure. If I didn't get attention from a guy, I felt hopeless. My happiness was still dependent on my external world and based on what others thought of me.
When people talk about self-love, self-worth, and being your own best friend....it can seem very woo-woo and hippy...but, it really is all we have. We can lose our loved ones, our ability to workout, our jobs, etc. Nothing external is in our control. So when we stay attached to those external things, our happiness is never in our control.
So how can we control our happiness? We can place more emphasis on our relationship with ourselves. We can ensure that we are emotionally grounded and satisfied before offering ourselves to external people or things. Cultivating this deep relationship with yourself isn't always easy, but so long as you continue to make the commitment to yourself, your soul will show up for you in ways you've only dreamed possible.
When we can stop relying on external sources for our happiness, we can make room for the abundance and clarity that we've always been searching for....permanently. Instead of evaluating your success based on your income, your looks, and your relationships...evaluate your mood. Are you happy more often that not?
Because, in reality... that's what were really after anyways. Right?